Created on Monday, 21 February 2011 Written by JOEL E. MAST
State forensic investigators were set to scour a portion of Rumpke Landfill in Cincinnati today on the chance there may be evidence that could help locate Richard and Gladis Russell and capture Samuel K. Littleton II, 37.
Russell vigil set for Wednesday
A vigil for Richard and Gladis Russell is set for 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in Brown Park off east Sandusky Avenue.
The Russells have been missing since Wednesday and may be with Samuel K. Littleton II, 37, a man wanted for the murder of Tiffany Brown.
Rumpke officials report they have secured a dump area that would include refuse collected Thursday morning from a southbound roadside rest along Interstate 75 in Butler County.
The forensic search was to begin at 10 a.m.
Authorities contacted Rumpke on Saturday and Rumpke began preparing the search area.
“This is a difficult situation. First and foremost our hearts go out to the families involved,” said Larry Stone, director of corporate safety at Rumpke.
Rumpke also is providing work space and office resources to help investigators.
According to several reports, the landfill receives between 8,000 and 10,000 tons per day, but the driver told Rumpke officials the approximate location where he placed the load. It is about an acre area.
In a Sunday evening press release, authorities said they do not have specific information that anything related to the case is there. However, they feel it is prudent to check the landfill.
The Russells’ metallic silver-green 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis was spotted at the roadside rest by an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper during a routine license plate check late Wednesday.
At the time, the car with Ohio license plate PDG 13E (a vanity plate standing for past district governor of Lions Club area 13E) was not listed on any state and national alerts. Also, nothing appeared to be amiss with the vehicle.
The Russells were listed as missing by 8 p.m. Thursday. Deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office searched their empty County Road 91 home and found a slip of paper with the murder suspect’s cell phone number and other hand-written notes.
Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation was asked to conduct the search at the request of the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff Andrew Smith said his detectives were going to spend the day investigating other leads and leave the landfill investigation to the BCII.
In the release, Bellefontaine Police Chief Brad Kunze said, “Clearly, the Russells are innocent victims who were merely targeted by Littleton to help further his escape from justice. Dick and Gladis Russell are very fragile and weak, and do not deserve this.”
Investigative work continues locally and across the state and nation to locate the Russells and the fugitive.
SAMUEL K. LITTLETON II
Mr. Littleton is wanted on warrants for murder, felonious assault, gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
He allegedly stabbed Tiffany Brown, 26, multiple times on Feb. 11. Her body was found under a pile of scrap wood in the basement after an overnight search Thursday of Mr. Littleton’s 729 Eastern Ave. residence, a property he and Ms. Brown’s mother, Deborah Neeley, purchased from the Russells in 2009.
Ms. Neeley is not a suspect in her daughter’s death. She and the suspect have known each other for 18 years.
Mr. Littleton is 5 feet, 8 inches tall; weighs 140 pounds; and has brown hair and blue eyes.
WHIO-TV reports an ex-wife of Mr. Littleton says he had a violent streak.
Tammy Queen was married to the fugitive for five years in the early 1990s.
After they got married, he began showing a darker side. He also loved knives and had an extensive collection.
“(One day) he held out seven knives ... and showed me each knife and told me what he was gonna do to me with it,” Ms. Queen told WHIO. “My kids were there and saw it and that was the first incident.”
Another time, she said, “He got really drunk and tried to stab me but I ducked it each time and finally he grabbed me and threw me down in the basement and locked me down there for two hours.”
That was when she decided to divorce the suspect.
Funeral arrangements have been completed for Ms. Brown. Visitation is from 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the First Church of God, where a funeral begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Burial is in Bellefontaine Cemetery.